Business Coach John Layzell's Blog

Developing your niche

Your niche (is it “nitch” or “neash”?) is necessary for growing profits and increasing cash flow so that you can have a successful business. That may seem obvious, but the definition of niche means  ”you have no price competition.”  In many ways this is where you get your marketing right. That’s what developing a niche is, making your marketing so productive that it speaks to your ideal customers and is an investment, not an expense. In other words, for every dollar you invest in marketing, more dollars are received in revenue and gross profit.  When you have a niche, you speak directly to your target market and that connection with your ideal customers makes any business strong.

So, to develop your niche, you have to start with a unique way of doing business. This doesn’t mean you accept bartering while others accept cash, this means your company has to develop an image, a brand that speaks to your ideal customer.

Your company’s brand must speak to your customers. They need to know who you are and then they will want to buy from you.

Focus on quality and your niche to move your business forward and get on that next level.

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

And let me know, do you pronounce niche “nitch’ or “neash”?

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

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Team Building for Maximum Success

To get the most out of your team you need to be sure they are set up for success in your organization from the start. That is, fitting in with the culture and proper training.

The best way to get your team to fit with your company’s culture is to be sure they come into your company with the right set of values.

1. Write out your points of culture. Have a set of very clear, solidified points of culture on which to base the values of your organization.

2. Ask open ended questions based on your points of culture. This allows you to get to know the people you’re hiring and if they are a good match for your company.

3. Background checks are important if integrity is one of your points of culture. Make sure your new employees have integrity even before they become your new employees.

Next, you must train your team with emphasis on what is expected.

1. Your vision statement is just as important as your points of culture. A clear vision statement inspires your team and gets them working toward a common goal.  Sample non-profit vision statements:  http://topnonprofits.com/examples/vision-statements/ 

2. Have a senior manager introduce your points of culture and vision statement. Steer your new employee in the right direction from day one.

3. Written rules must be reviewed, followed, and enforced starting the first day. Make it very clear that the rules are important and must be given attention.

If you expect your team to follow the rules, pay attention to your vision statement, and live up to your points of culture, you need to be sure you are setting a good example and doing the same.  Lead by example!

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

Posted in Business Planning, Growing Your Business, Team Building | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Eliminating Time Vampires

Do you find that by Friday most of your weekly to do list that you wrote on Monday hasn’t been touched?   Hint:  Change your “TO DO” list to a “TO ACHIEVE” list.  Do you really want to “DO” stuff or “ACHIEVE” great things?

This is a common problem. Either you are planning too much in too little time, which is unlikely, or you are getting distracted by people and things are keeping you from what you set out to do.

These distractions could be anything from nonessential phone calls, to fixing old mistakes, to a particularly chatty customer, team member, friends or family… all business Time Vampires!

You can eliminate them by first identifying you distractions, then following through to get you back on track. Anything that takes up your time that isn’t planned or particularly productive.

First, start with a blank sheet of paper and on one side list your top 10 distractions. Next, try to imagine how much you could get done without wasting all that time on those distractions. Now, on the other side of the paper put down a solution for each distraction. Think about these lists often and apply them each day to rid yourself of all of your unnecessary distractions.

 If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

Posted in Business Planning, Growing Your Business, Personal Growth, Time Management | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Delivering the best possible service

Having a great product or service, and providing that great product or service consistently are the reasons why customers return. There is something that sets those businesses apart from the competition.

Think about the businesses you frequent- you like the product they offer and they deliver the service you need and expect. How often do you revisit a place when the service is subpar? Maybe once more, to give them a second chance, but if the service is still poor you’ll find that product elsewhere.

 Your customers are no different. Every interaction they have with your business will be evaluated. If your service is below expectations then they will get the service from another source. If you are aware of how your customers feel about you, then you can master delivery.

To keep those customers coming back you have to become a master of delivering top notch service. Without customer service standards that you put in place for your business, you are unable to rely on your team members to do the right thing. You need to take charge and ensure high quality every time.

First of all, what are your goals? Do you know how you want your customers to feel when they do business with you? This will be your stepping point for the rest of your new systems for maintaining good service.

Second, you need to know what exactly you need for success with the customer service you provide. Think of things like the right inventory, how your store looks, if your customers can really see the quality they’re receiving, and how your employees interact with your customers.

All of these small pieces add up to the experience your customers have. By setting a standard and an expectation for each of these details you will deliver service your customers need.

The most challenging part is establishing concrete definitions for these expectations. Once you have these standards your team will be held accountable and you will be able deliver the same service each and every time. 

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

Posted in Business Planning, Customer Service, Team Building | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Valued Systems

Are you finding it difficult to grow your business and to give your staff new responsibilities? You can only do so much by yourself until you’re completely burnt out.

If you only think of how to do things, you’re going to be doing it by yourself forever. If every new employee has to be trained by you, then the growth of your business and that employee is limited by how much time you invest. Not only that, you have to remember what to teach them when they start and everything else along the way. This forces you to work on small, everyday tasks IN your business, instead of ON your business.

Have you ever been through this cycle: Going into your business each day hoping no one will quit, even if he’s terrible, but at the end of the day you wish you could fire him. You keep losing clients and deals and you’re just scraping by, but you don’t change anything. You just don’t have time to hire and train anyone. This is so frustrating!

You must learn to DIVIDE to grow your business. It’s DIVIDE to MULTIPLY, this is the idea of dividing to multiply the systemizing in your business.

Your accounts receivable, the money you have in the bank, technology, equipment – can any of these assets gain value in the next year? What about your systems and monitoring? There is so much value in a system of hiring the right people and training them on their most important responsibilities in the first few days. There is even more value in a manager who can do all of this for you!

Documenting and routinely monitoring your systems is where the true value is found. Think of the money when you lost 1 client per day for a week- that’s 5 X the amount you make from each client. That is real, tangible value. Along with this monetary cost, it’s your family, your relationships, and your health that are truly valuable.

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

Posted in Business Planning, Growing Your Business, Money & Finances | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

5 ways to improve your marketing strategy

If I asked you what you need most in your business, would you say more customers? And is that really true? Yes! Of course all businesses could do with more customers, but to gain them you need an effective marketing plan. But can you create that new marketing plan? All it really takes is some serious contemplation, and to keep these simple things in mind while you do:

1. Remember that you’re in the business of making profit. Do a little math to understand the cost of your customers.

2. Make this a long term plan. Do a little more math to get the most out of your marketing. Your biggest focus, say 60%, should be on the target market,  then 30% on working on the actual offer, and 10% on creating the copy, what you are actually going to say..

3. Pull in with marketing, then push the sale. Remember that marketing is an investment, but you want to get people to seek out your business. You should spend 50% of your time running or working IN your business and the other 50% with your marketing, ON the business.

4. Marketing requires math. An effective marketing strategy forces you to “buy customers.” When you work out how much a prospect and a customer costs you, or their “acquisition cost”, you can create your budget.

5. The value of your customers. If you give the best value and service to your customers it not only becomes repeat business, but their recommendations become free marketing!

Just remember throughout the process to continue testing and measuring and to schedule time to do so. Have no fear when it comes to updating as the market changes, as well.

Create a marketing plan that will bring new customers effectively, and then keep them with the great value you provide.  

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

Posted in Business Planning, Growing Your Business, Money & Finances | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Accumulate more cash

If you properly manage your money and do just a few things in advance, you will have more cash on hand, more often. Just by doing these few simple things…

  1. Create a cashflow budget, with just a simple spreadsheet to manage in-flows and out-flows of real “cash” on a daily or monthly basis. A real life physical spreadsheet allows you to see where money is and project where it will go. Mostly, it will make you more aware of what you have and what you’re spending.
  2. Generate a system for receivables. If your biggest clients are holding most of your payments in their bank account, then a script for collecting outstanding receivables is necessary. It doesn’t have to be the owner who does this (actually, it shouldn’t as this sounds like desperation), using scripts allows you to leverage others.
  3. Sell any obsolete equipment. That machine that has been sitting on the floor for the past few months and you’ve barely used? You don’t need it and it will make more money for you on craigslist, ebay or amazon marketplace than actually using it. The money you bring in from selling it could be used for something that will advance your business.
  4. Sell more! Obviously… But this requires a plan on how you will generate more business. Be specific! How much more? $1? $100? $10,000?  What’s your goal? Remember: Goal > Plan > Strategy > Action > Results.  The modern definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. So, if your sales have been consistently declining and you don’t change anything- that’s insane! To get results you must identify S.M.A.R.T goals, develop a plan and actually take the action to change in order to make more money.

 

Your plan for success needs to start today for you to begin seeing results. 

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

Posted in Business Planning, Growing Your Business, Money & Finances | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Systemize the routine, humanize the exception

Are you finding it difficult to grow your business and to give your staff new responsibilities? You can only do so much by yourself until you’re completely burnt out.

If you only think of how to do things, you’re going to be doing it by yourself forever. If every new employee has to be trained by you, then the growth of your business and that employee is limited by how much time you invest. Not only that, you have to remember what to teach them when they start and everything else along the way. This forces you to work on small, everyday tasks IN your business, instead of ON your business.

Have you ever been through this cycle: Going into your business each day hoping no one will quit, even if he’s terrible, but at the end of the day you wish you could fire him. You keep losing clients and deals and you’re just scraping by, but you don’t change anything. You just don’t have time to hire and train anyone. This is so frustrating!

You must learn to DIVIDE to grow your business. It’s DIVIDE to MULTIPLY, this is the idea of dividing to multiply the systemizing in your business.

Your accounts receivable, the money you have in the bank, technology, equipment- can any of these assets gain value in the next year? What about your systems and monitoring? There is so much value in a system of hiring the right people and training them on their most important responsibilities in the first few days. There is even more value in a manager who can do all of this for you!

Documenting and routinely monitoring your systems is where the true value is found. Think of the money when you lost 1 client per day for a week- that’s 5 X the amount you make from each client. That is real, tangible value. Along with this monetary cost, it’s your family, your relationships, and your health that are truly valuable.

So, systemize the routine, and humanize the exception.  Remember the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80-20 Rule.  Systemize the 80%…

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

Posted in Business Planning, Growing Your Business, Team Building, Time Management | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Committing to your success

Where does your commitment to your business lie? You are either committed to making the work you do easier, or blaming others, making excuses why things can’t be done, or simply living in denial.

The truth is that if you want incredible results in your business and your life, you have to take ownership. Only you can make those changes to see amazing things happen. You are the one that is totally accountable and responsible for your actions.

So, in your business you can either react to everything that comes your way or do the work that makes everything easier.

Most people do the things that have effect in the short term; it’s easy to choose to do the work that will make things better right now, and it’s common to avoid short term discomfort, even if it means things will be better later on. Often we focus on the urgent, rather than the important.

When you do things this way, you don’t do anything outside of your comfort zone then you and your business don’t grow. Even though you know what is required of you to achieve success, you don’t take action because you don’t want to go through the short term discomfort of stepping out of what is familiar.

Everything is made more difficult when you neglect the actions required to really thrive. Think about it, it affects how you live your life.

To fix this you must commit! Make that final decision to do whatever it takes to achieve exactly what is it that you want. Then, write out exactly how you picture what you want your life to be and how exactly you will achieve that.

You must motivate yourself and be committed in order to achieve what you really want even if it means temporary discomfort for long term gain.  Remember, others can inspire you, but only YOU can truly motivate yourself.

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

Posted in Business Planning, Personal Growth | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Change, and never ending improvement

No organization is ever exactly finished or perfect. There is always room for improvement. This is exemplified by the Japanese philosophy or practice of ‘Kaizen’, meaning constant and never ending improvement. This is a good mentality to have so that you are always working to make your business better. This way, your organization can grow and stay relevant. Unfortunately, all businesses and organizations have weaknesses that may be very difficult to identify and deal with.

The good news is that the more weaknesses that you can identify and fix, the more improvement you will see over time. Progress requires a process of evaluation and change. Each small step is like another piece of a math problem or puzzle that all comes together in the end. The changes that involve culture, behavior and people are much more delicate and intimate. This requires gentle shaping as well as a personal touch and investment from the leader to really make that change happen.

To shape your organization, there are a few essentials that ensure the changes go smoothly.

  • To make the improvement that you want, it must be gradual and consistent. Too much at once overwhelms your team and incite panic, too little and nothing actually gets done.
  • Since it takes time, be sure to detail how you’re going to make these changes. Write down even the smallest steps you need to take to change.
  • Throughout the process, your organization needs one constant leader and role model. You must delegate tasks to your trusted team members, but you must be the solid leader at this time.
  • If you start to see a regression, remember it’s hard to lose old habits. It just means that more effort is required to keep everyone on track.
  • As the leader, you have to stay on top of the improvements. If you forget about it, so does your team!
  • Break up your goals into smaller pieces and make sure each one is highly detailed. The small victories and accomplishments just make it easier.

It is so satisfying to look back and see what a difference you have made in your organization. Focus on the results and good things start to happen before you know it. 

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog give me a call at 305-899-9963 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make it happen.

Coach John
“Living beyond the ordinary”

Posted in Growing Your Business, Personal Growth, Team Building | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed
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